July 29, 2009


So I am sure some of you are weary of me writing about this topic and I tried to suppress this entry as long as I could, but tonight I couldn't help myself! I sat down at my computer and felt the need to share.

As most of you know my little guy can be a handful. OK, so that's the understatement of the year - he is an extremely spirited boy who overflows with toddler tendencies (more physically active than most kids his age, very strong willed, very alert and aware of everything, and he is extremely emotional and LOUD). My older brother Terry actually calls him "Chaos personified." My parents, though they absolutely adore him, confess they can only watch him for two hours tops because of how much work he takes.

Also, as I've mentioned before, I have been hurt and felt somewhat belittled when I am just trying to vent about how tired I am or frustrated with Toby's extremes, and other mom's either try to "one-up me" OR give me this condescending "your-a-first-time-mom" look and say that my son is no different from any other child his age (even though they have only witnessed about 10 minutes of his vivacious enthusiasm for life). I used to try to convince them that actually I have been with many, many, many kids his age and haven't found his equal in stamina or noise level, but I grew tired of it and eventually just let them think that I was a naive, new mom who is not use to the trials of toddlerhood.

And then from time to time, usually on the easier days with Toby, I would think to myself: Maybe they are right. Maybe Toby IS just like all the other kids his age and I'm just a whiny first-time mom that needs to toughen up.

It wasn't until a couple weekends ago that I received pure vindication for the last 16 months of my life...

Nick's sister Tonee, out of the goodness of her heart, offered to watch Toby so Nick and I could spend some quality time together. I was a bit nervous (for Tonee) but knew that Nick and I definitely were way past due on having some good one-on-one time. As we were about to leave we were kind of apologizing ahead of time for how Toby may behave. She could sense our reluctance and nervousness and said, "Guys, I have had 4 kids of my own. You don't need to worry about a thing! Go have a good time."

And we did. We went out for pizza at Pier 49, stocked up on some delicious cookies at "Smart Cookie" and then ended the evening with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We were gone for a good 4 1/2 hours - the longest both of us had ever been away from our little man. The evening proved to be therapeutic, relaxing, with maybe a dash of separation anxiety (I admit it!)

When we arrived home the look on Tonee's face said it all. I waited anxiously for her report.

"Oh my goodness you guys, that child does not stop! Where in the world does he get his energy from? NONE of my four kids were anything like that. At one point I thought he was tired because he became pretty fussy so I tried to put him down for a nap....."

[I smiled knowingly]

"...I have never seen a child fight sleep so hard! You could tell he was tired but he just won't let himself fall asleep! And then sometimes he would just scream because he would get so angry at something. His whole body would shake because he was screaming SO loud!"

At this point I couldn't help but laugh because I could just picture the entire scene perfectly in my mind. I honestly did feel bad that he was such a handful for her, but inwardly I was relieved knowing that I wasn't crazy and that someone FINALLY understands what a day (or a few hours) with him is really like!

"How do you get anything done in the house? When do you clean?" She asked incredibly.

"Well either I am just too tired and I just leave the clutters for Nick to clean (hehehe), or I try to get it all done after Toby goes to bed for the night."

She nodded her head in agreement. "I guess that would be the only time you could get anything done- or just have a moment to yourself."


A couple days after she left, I decided to a toddler temperament quiz to see where Toby would fall. They broke up the temperament's into 3 categories: 40% of toddlers are Easy/Adaptable, 15% are Cautious/Shy, and then 10% were labeled Spirited/Challenging. Can you guess which category the Tobeman falls into? (In case you are wondering the remaining 35% can be a combo of two different categories).

On the flip side, I've done a lot of reading and have talked to the few parents who have (or had) similar children and I am excited to know that there is a silver lining. The main thing that keeps me afloat and sane is that all the long days and hard work will pay off because most of the time these spunky munchkins end up being extremely bright, outgoing, athletic, adaptable, exhibit strong leadership skills, and usually are very accomplished at whatever they put their mind to. It's just when they are little people learning to put words together, exploring their world, and learning boundaries is when they could definitely drive a person to drink....oh wow, did I really just type that? *cough*

Anyway, a BIG thanks to you who have patiently read and responded to my rantings and vent sessions. I know some of you have had similar experiences (or harder) and I appreciate the support and validation.

I whole-heartedly agree with Elder M. Russell Ballard's sentiments: "[Children] are a sacred privilege that will teach [parents] to become more like God."

July 15, 2009

No rose colored glasses here

"An ideal marriage is a true partnership between two imperfect people, each striving to complement the other, to keep the commandments, and to do the will of the Lord. "

—Elder Russell M. Nelson

The other night I was in the kitchen watching Nick devour a bowl of cereal. I sat there staring in dismay as milk dribbled down his chin and back into the cereal bowl. Between the loud, incessant, crunching and watching him shovel HUGE spoonfuls into his mouth, the scene finally became too unbearable to watch. I was just about to let him know of my extreme irritation by saying something sarcastic like, "So that cereal is pretty good, huh?", when the thought crossed my mind: I wonder what annoying things I do that drive Nick crazy? So I asked him. I thought the conversation might make for an interesting blog post:

ME: "What things do I do that bug you?"

He's use to me asking him random, out-of-no-where questions

Nick: "Uh...I'll have to think about it."

Me: "Just name like 5 things."

Nick: "You don't pick-up after yourself. You are like a little tornado sometimes, always leaving little messes in different rooms of the house."

Me (making mental note that it bothers me that he is a neat freak) : "True...but I am getting better."

Nick: "You don't speak your mind sometimes. You're not very assertive."

I am all too aware of this flaw
. *sigh*

Me: "What else?"

Nick: "I don't know, I can't really think of anything else."

At this point I was feeling pretty good. Only two things annoy him? Not too shabby.
My pride was quickly replaced with shame for being able to think of 5 things on the spot that annoyed ME about HIM. So I decided to help him.

Me: "I take a long time to get ready for church or for a date" (the only times I bother to do my hair and put on make-up)

Nick: "Oh yeah, that is very true." He sat and thought for a minute. I could tell the wheels were really starting to turn now. Finally he announced, "Oh it drives me crazy how you take forever to order at a drive-thru! You will sit and stare at the menu for who knows how long, and then when its your turn to order you always give me a blank stare and say 'I'm not ready yet.' And then you end up ordering the same thing you always order. It's SO annoying!"

I could only laugh at this. He nailed me.

His eyes lit up again and I had wondered what I had gotten myself into.

Nick: "OH!!! I can not stand how you interrupt me when I am telling a story to someone. Half way through you will cut me off and finish the story yourself. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!"

This is something I have only recently discovered about myself. It really is a problem. I think its just the writer in me that wants to make sure he doesn't leave a single detail out.

I then shared my annoyances with him (some are a little petty and ridiculous, I admit it!):

1. When you eat cereal, it sounds like there is a microphone in your mouth and it looks like you are a wolf devouring small animal.

2. When you sneeze its always in three's! Why is this? Why are you incapable of being a one time sneezer?

3. A little clutter isn't the end of the world. Sheesh.

4. When I make a meal for you I feel like I am on a reality cooking show. I sweat bullets when you are about to taste my creation because you are SO picky!

5. You are probably the biggest hint dropper in the world. Instead of telling me exactly what you want, you are notorious for saying little obscure remarks about your expectations. And then you get upset when I don't pick up your little bread crumbs leading me to what you really want...which is what again?

Both of us got a good laugh out of the lists and they gave us something to think about and work on. And to make the end the evening on a more positive note, we ended up telling each other 5 things we love about each other. I won't bore your with those sappy lists.

I am reminded of the quote: "we should keep [our] eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward." (Or in my case, I just close them altogether when Nick's about to pour a bowl of Captain Crunch..ha!) :)

*Just so everyone knows Nick has read this post and was completely fine with me sharing it with all who care to read it.

July 13, 2009


...pictures of the new pad. The ones I put up in May were pics from the previous owner. It's still a bit bare because we only have enough furniture and decor to fill up a large apartment, but its definitely feeling more homey.

Kitchen (my favorite)

Front Room


Still need to put up some family pictures

Basement Guest Bathroom

We got this sectional for FREE! My mom's neighbor was just giving it away. Sweet deal, eh?

Toby's play area. I want to make it more neutral and not so girly. I eventually want to tear out the stove and paint some animals or Disney character's in there.

Our food storage. Uh, yeah we need to get on that. No excuses now!

Nice WIDE staircase

Toby's bathroom. Eventually I will add some more color.

I will say I like having a linen closet IN the bathrooms.

The pink room. Yuck. I hate pink. Even if I have a girl someday there will be no pink rooms in my house.

Right now its our storage room...

The Tobester's room

Master Bedroom

Love the crown molding

If you are wondering why we don't have blankets: a) We just got a new bed and b) it gets pretty warm in our room at night so we're kind of holding off .

The BLUE bathroom. I like it, Nick hates it.

I know the red shower curtain doesn't really match but that's all we have right now. Nick eventually wants to paint the walls an off-white color. Boooooooring.

Private pooper :)

Love the oval tub.

And that's our house in a nut shell. Most of our decor was provided by my mom. She lives for decorating. Seriously, when you walk into her house you would think you just arrived at a Pottery Barn or Thai Pan Trading.

So far I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having a house and living in "The Ranches". I seriously feel so blessed and humbled by having such a nice place to call home. And the neighborhood is wonderful. Awesome jogging trails and parks all around us. Plus, Sunday dinner's are only about a mile way now. Yup, my parents live within walking distance. I will say there are pros and cons to having such close proximity, but so far the pro's are definitely out-weighing the cons: free meals, someone to hang out with when Nick is gone, I get my TV fix there since we currently don't have cable, AND a trusted babysitter when Nick and I go out! I think the only thing I miss about Provo is how close it is to restaurants and shopping malls, but to me that's not much of a sacrifice. Nick and I don't eat out very often and I rarely go shopping.

Yes, home life is good.

To quote a favorite John Mayer song:

Home life
Been holding out for my home life
My whole life

July 8, 2009

The differences between men and women

This is one of the funniest Brian Regan skits. I watched it over and over again when I first saw it and could not stop laughing. (Sorry about the width, I couldn't figure out how to make it fit into my blog)